NEWS9 January 2023

Support from publishers for US research data transparency

News North America Public Sector

US – Several open access scholarly publishers have backed a US government proposal to make all taxpayer-funded research and underlying raw data freely available by 2026.

The White House

The publishers backed a recent memorandum from the US government that requires US federal granting bodies to develop and implement new policies to share research and data freely and without embargo.

The memorandum, titled Ensuring free, immediate and equitable access to federally funded research, was published by the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in August 2022.

Several publishers have signed a response supporting the OSTP’s policy, and highlighted that publishing on their platforms already meets or exceeds the new requirements.

Publishers that have backed the OSTP’s memorandum are Copernicus Publications, eLife, Frontiers, JMIR Publications, MDPI, Open Library of Humanities, PeerJ, PLOS and Ubiquity Press.

Open access to published taxpayer-funded research was raised as an issue during the Covid-19 pandemic, with calls from the OSTP at the beginning of the crisis requesting that research on the virus be made freely available.

In a statement, the publishers said: “We enthusiastically support moving away from notions of embargoes, and the old conversations about shortening or lengthening them.

“We strongly believe that there is consensus across the research community that the current mixed model landscape of published research is no longer in the best service of science, health, technology and scholarship whether inside or outside a time of crisis.”